Suing Our School Over Coronavirus Policy

In a knee jerk reaction to the Coronavirus, our school director unilaterally decided to change the dates of our spring break. Threatening us with loss of job, he ordered all teachers to stay in-country during the rescheduled vacation. The faculty is pissed!!

As a faculty we feel he should have at least had a plan in mind to help teachers obtain reimbursement for money already spent on travel plans – airfare / hotels, etc. He did not! I asked him why leaving the country would result in loss of job and was told it’s because we may face quarantine upon reentry, leaving the school short on teachers. As usual there was no concern for our needs, such as flying home to visit an aging parent.

Had Mr. School Director thought to organize a whole-school faculty meeting and present a valid reason for the date change he may have united us as a team working for a common cause.  Instead, he sent out an email to parents and teachers alike and then made himself unavailable.

There is no question we all need to act responsibly and do our part to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. However, our director’s interest in changing the dates of our Spring break had nothing to do with public safety or stopping the spread of the virus. His sole focus was on the school’s profit margin. And… I have proof because I tracked him down and have the recording of our meeting to prove it. His attitude is quite revealing!

Our contracts clearly spell out vacation dates. That portion of our contracts has now been breached and the director refuses to address the issue or help us in any way.  As a faculty we have decided to seek legal representation in an effort to receive reimbursement for all lost monies. After all, his decision to suddenly change the dates of our spring break was based on a concern for profits with no regard to the teachers’ wellbeing of public safety.

I’d like to know how other schools have been treating their teachers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Surely the treatment we are receiving is not representative of international Schools as a group.

Thanks for all you do for International Teachers,
(name withheld on request)

Please scroll down to participate in this Discussion Board

86 Responses to Suing Our School Over Coronavirus Policy

  1. Anonymous says:

    My school director fired a teaching couple with three kids for returning home. He also fired a single teacher for the same reason. This was after their embassy said they should return home. The firing placed extra burden on other teaching staff who had to pick up their load.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have any idea about teacher’s legal rights if their International School, located in China, is forcing expats to return to China (under breech of contract) now even if their home governments are advising against it? And the fact that long international travel puts the teacher at greater risk of contracting the virus en route?

    Like

    • Will Riker says:

      Don’t go! If they are putting profits over people you don’t owe them anything

      Like

    • Marian Catholic says:

      If you return to China at the present moment, you will be put into quarantine for two weeks and must pay the medical expenses. Is your school willing to foot the bill?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      They are willing to pay the cost (although that’s the least of my concerns). But that’s not the point. Why jeopardize my health? Why even ask that of me?

      Like

    • Will Riker says:

      Exactly! They clearly are putting profits over people. If you have to justify your job in such negative or fearful context then you don’t need that job!

      Like

    • Marian Catholic says:

      If the school wouldn’t foot the bill, then it’s clearly putting profits above its employees’ health. Until then, you’re simply making an assumption.

      Like

    • Will Riker says:

      I agree, I misread the prior comment and sadly you can’t remove a post. My bad

      Like

  3. K.Comeau says:

    My school has been great. As a not-for-profit school with a little more than 100 students, they have been exceptional. They reimbursed our flight and accommodations. Of course, because of where I am located (Eritrea), there was a force majeure and we were evacuated to our home countries. They took care of purchasing our tickets (50-50 split pay), and our salaries will continue.

    I would assume that after this chaos and we return to some sense of normalcy, contracts for international educators will look very different.

    Sorry you are experiencing this.

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    What makes people so certain that they’ll be able to get back to their home countries in the summer? The virus is set to peak in mid June in the UK and the middle Eastern airlines are shutting down operations to the worst affected countries already. Yes you might be seeing out your contract and doing the right thing under normal circumstances but these are not normal times and personally I wouldn’t want to be stuck in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or somewhere equally desolate over the summer and for an indefinite period. I keep hearing this from people – we’re booked to go home in June/July whenever – ‘news flash’ flights are cancelling all the time, the UAE of all places has just closed its airports. Think about this… Yes I agree that we shouldn’t get too worked up about changing holiday plans and we should avoid unnecessary travel, but when it comes to repatriation and dealing with some of the unscrupulous directors that work in international schools might be time to start looking after number one.

    Like

  5. Maria says:

    I think at this time, we have to understand the state of affairs at hand. As international teachers we have to understand global issues. I’m not sure suing your school at this time would be prudent. I doubt any judge would side with you as this is a world- wide problem and seeking a law suit at such a time shows you to be selfish and uncaring for the world around you. I’m not so sure people like this should be in international teaching. Furthermore, staying put is necessary for everyone at this time and those who chose to travel are now getting stranded. Your director make this decision might have been for financial gains however it is also for your own good to stay put and not travel. As for the aging parent not being seen it’s best that this aging parent is not exposed to people who have been traveling that is quite a danger to that elderly person. I think you should stop right now as you will only lose this case and appear as lacking in empathy, whining complainers who do not understand the world around you. Things could be worse for you. You could be a teacher in the Lombardy region watching your neighbors bodies being dragged away by army tanks or worse you could be in one of those tanks. Which situation would u rather have ?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ruth says:

    Schools in the UK have closed. Teachers are working from home or going in on a rota. We’re working through Easter holidays. People have lost money on bookings. Teachers contracts here in the UK have dates for holidays on them too. But this isn’t a normal time and things change, including the dates we work. We’re getting on with it, not moaning. And you shouldn’t be visiting elderly relatives. They’re vulnerable and now at home self isolating for 12 weeks. There are bigger things to think about right now than you losing money on a holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Simon says:

    ISR was wrong to publish this 3 week forum discussion post on this blog. When the OP stated this opinion and frustration, the pandemic was not nearly at this stage. People who are piling on this post need to realize that it was created several weeks ago when we all had this luxury of thinking. It’s interesting to see all the sleazy and sanctimonious directors and managers pop out of the wood work with their “you are lack to have a job” responses. These are the types of scumbags this website is dedicated to warning educators about. It’s too bad we couldn’t get their names. If it get sick from this virus, I’d love to find them and cough in their faces.

    Like

    • In Hindsight . . . says:

      That was what I was thinking. I don’t know when he posted this, but it seemed like it had to have been before now because he is talking about traveling during spring break, which seems impossible across the world these days.

      I’ve been in the thick of this since day one and three weeks ago, I didn’t think it was going to get to this point. I didn’t leave China because I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, and while I accepted the restrictions as necessary, I didn’t think it would ever affect much more than Hubei. I thought the closing of universities in the US 2 weeks ago was ridiculous. But here we are and I’m having arguments with family members back home about minding the social distancing recommendations. I’ve come full circle and I’m the one begging the people back home to self-isolate.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical, entitled reply from a ‘teacher’ that cares more for themself, than their students.

      Like

  8. BB says:

    Here in Beilun, cheery China our crappy director just ordered us back after a prolonged Spring break on our own dollar and straight into quarantine. This guy shows no concern for staff and only cares about feathering his own dirty little nest. Reality is don’t want to be here anymore. My last year!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      wow

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone have any idea about teacher’s legal rights if their International School, located in China, is forcing expats to return to China (under breech of contract) now even if their home governments are advising against it? And the fact that long international travel puts the teacher at greater risk of contracting the virus en route?

      Like

  9. CRAIG DON ANTHONY SKELTON says:

    I work at an American school in Venezuela. we are teaching online and even if we wanted to travel during our break, airports are closed and travel on highways is blocked by the army. Our school prepared a few weeks ago and discussed what would occur if everything closed down. we were prepared for online teaching. The school has not insisted we go to school, but the school is accessible. Not sure for how much longer as there is no gasoline. it is a matter of sit tight. The school has not cancelled the holiday, but no one will be going anywhere anyway.

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    Our Head is insisting staff come into school two days a week, despite the government closing schools, universities, malls etc. We are risking our lives to have to come into school but his response is ‘be glad you are getting a pay check’. He would not allow anyone to leave the city, even when they had the chance before all borders and travel became impossible. Numbers of cases are sky rocketing here and we were denied the opportunity to go to our home country which is much safer. Welcome to International teaching.

    Like

  11. Jms says:

    In Bahrain schools have been closed for three weeks now and we’ve been doing virtual school ever since. Spring break is still on schedule, but admin has been straight in communicating everything as it comes up from the government. There is nowhere safe to travel, the borders are closed, the last thing I want to do is get on an airplane and risk getting my family and friends sick. I thought I was going to have to go to London during the break for personal business and my director promised we’d work it out if I were unable to come back. Luckily I don’t have to go after all, but I still wouldn’t want to risk a trip now. If I left and we’re allowed back in, I’d face a two week quarantine. And Bahrain doesn’t have shortages like the US.

    Like

  12. Will Riker says:

    Somebody call the wambulance! Spring break was cancelled and the school will not compensate us!
    This post has to be a joke, right? With Cathay Pacific cutting 96% of their flights and many airlines not offering international routes at all, you will be refunded or get an eCredit to use at a later date. The selfishness of this post can be seen in real life with a recent Spring breaker in FL saying on camera “If I get corona I get corona, it’s not going to stop me from partying”
    You should be more concerned with getting home if you are an American as the US State Department issued a lever 4 GLOBAL travel advisory.
    However, if you do decide to sue your school, please let us know how that goes and how much money you and the faculty wasted. It will be good reference for anyone foolish enough to do the same.

    I hope that ALL international teachers are safe and keep their own best interests in mind. Look out for number one and if things get bad protect yourself and your loved ones. Do not stay in country because you “care about the kids”. God Speed to everyone trying to get home and stay safe for those who have chosen to remain in country. We will get through this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas says:

      I agree fully. It is not an ordinary situation.

      Like

    • Ray says:

      I agree that teachers shouldn’t stay because “they care about the kids”. International schools are for the affluent and privileged and once a teacher has gone, the kids soon forget you. Teachers are commodities and nothing special.

      Like

    • Will Riker says:

      Amen! It took two years before my eyes were opened to this. I always stuck it out for the kinds until I realized that I was just a tool for their affluent advancement. Easily forgettable to them. Now, I refuse to bend over backwards for someone who won’t bend down to tie their own shoes.

      Like

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am surprised at the anger and vehement tone of many of these post. In times of crisis a little bit of empathy and calm exchange of thoughts can be very helpful. Are we losing our humanity?

    Like

    • TeacherinRussia says:

      I feel so incredibly fortunate at my school’s (an international school in Russia) response. They have been completely transparent at every point. They had a task force meeting daily with board members, admin, and Embassy working closely together. They cancelled the break because they knew people would be flying and bringing back virus–honestly, no one (teachers, etc) even thought about Spring Break. Health and safety was the topmost concern, closely followed by best practices in distance learning for children based on current research. We have now closed our campus completely and will begin distance learning for 6 weeks. Teachers were allowed to choose where they would want to do that as borders began shutting down. The 6 weeks will finish out the year and everyone will go home (and be paid as per their contracts). The beauty of working for a non-profit school and having an amazing director.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Stuck says:

    I get why you feel frustrated and cheated, and maybe your director did things badly and maybe his motives are not entirely pure, but even if you had a director with absolute integrity, chances are your break would have been compromised.

    We’ve been in some level of lockdown for over 7 weeks. We started teaching online over 6 weeks ago, and as everyone doing it can tell you, it has been long, frustrating hours. Some of us haven’t left the city where we work since before this all hit the fan, and we need a break. We need a change of scenery. We’ve only seen the insides of our apartments for two months, but the most we can hope for during our spring break coming up next week is to spend a little more time walking the streets outside. (Parks are open, but they are restricting how many people may enter.) If we leave the city, we face 2 weeks of full-on quarantine upon return. And forget leaving the country! The only country open to us is our home country, and I was just informed this morning (been expecting it) that our flights home for this summer have been canceled. Checking for alternate flights, I find that it will cost more than twice as much to get home with a longer route and without baggage included. So we may not even get to leave after school is out.

    I am trying to figure out where you live that a traveling holiday is even an option.

    Every airline and every hotel company/booking agency is working with people to rebook or give refunds. I think you’ll get your money back. The entire world is shutting down.

    Like

  15. Vietnam says:

    Hanoi, Vietnam.

    Yes it is tragic at present, you may miss your vacations, we only have 2 semesters a year and the first one is 6 months long with no break.

    The second one is 5 months long with a 10 day break, so please do not whine about losing your vacation time.

    On top of that we now have to work an additional 4 weeks into our summer vacation?

    The government body has said that we ‘teachers’ have to compensate parents by working an extra 4 weeks, working online is not fulfilling our obligation to them?

    That’s what our principal says… I know…really….

    What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christina Preissner says:

    Dear all

    I am surprised. I am located in Germany, only some borders are closed and some travelling is still possible. At the same time is the German government spending lots of money to bring people back home who were stupid enough to fly out on a holiday last week. So honestly how can you even consider going on a spring break? This is irresponsible in regards to your parents as they are in the high risk group and to the community around you.
    In regards to communication.
    Whom would you hold responsible if you caught the virus in school from a student or another teacher who flew out and came back with the virus? Wouldn’t you then say well the director should have thought of this and banned these people from coming back without quarantine?
    I do complain quite a bit about the management at my school but I am proud of them the way they are dealing with this extraordinary situation. They got students coming back from China tested before this was on everyones radar in January.
    Any idea which stress these people are under at the moment? I am glad I do not have to make these decisions. And I guess in such a situation the communication tone might be not perfect. In times like, I think understandable.

    Like

  17. JSoares says:

    Hi,

    Our spring dates were changed as well, however, it was a government decision, and our school tried to fight to keep our original dates. We were also told that we couldn’t leave the country, or that we would be subject to a 14-day unpaid leave for our quarantine. Given how the situation has evolved around the globe, I am happy with the way that things have been handled here. The companies (airlines and hotels) that I booked through offered full refunds (minus a small non-refundable fee). Things are changing day by day everywhere around the world, and the situation is unprecedented on this scale. Many people didn’t think of covid-19 as being a big concern outside of east Asia.
    I am saddened to hear that your director has made themselves unavailable and that you do not feel that your concerns have been heard (mine has been working non-stop to sort out remote learning etc).
    In this time of crisis though, I would ask you to put yourself in your director’s position. How would you handle all the pressures? It is likely that they too are overwhelmed with all of the sudden changes and their responsibilities. If you do not feel that that is the case, then I would suggest you look for a different school. None are perfect.

    Like

  18. A Arnold says:

    In the UAE all schools had a change of spring break and then followed by remote learning. Yes some of us lost monies for holidays booked and we were advised by my school not to travel. Unfortunately some people didn’t heed the advice and are now stuck outside of the country due to border closure. Traveling at this time is selfish and irresponsible behaviour. The world is stuck in this together. Many people can not afford any holidays and the majority get four weeks a year. Teachers are uniquely privileged in that we get much holiday time. I am distressed at the tone of this article which looks to post the blame at others. It is a pandemic. Everyone will be affected. We
    Just need to get through this and have a positive attitude I think.

    Like

  19. bill benson says:

    Good luck in court. No halfway decent judge in a is gonna take the side of a whiny foreigner who can’t understand the cirumstances that led to this. Every organization in the world is having to make changes and hard choices, and all you can think of is your precious vacation time.

    I am treating our staff as fair as possible and everyone is very understanding that we cancelled our Spring Break becuase it was the only way. It’s not because the school a greedy business. Nobody wants to cancel Spring Break. Do you get that???

    And as a director, I would fire for your lack of understanding that extreme times require sacrifice. With the economic implosion right around the corner, you’ll be wishing so hard you still had a paycheck to buy food. You sound like a self-entitled baby.

    Like

    • ken says:

      Bill, as a director you are nothing but a low level bureaucrat who is beholding to the board and parents. You embrace the power to fire people at will since you are not accountable. In the end, you will cover your ass at all costs. Spare us all the high and mighty talk.

      Like

    • Brian Meegan says:

      So “lack of understanding” is grounds for termination? Wow…

      Like

  20. bill benson says:

    Are you gonna fly on a plane with a 4%, or even 0.04% chance of crashing? A huge portion of the planet will get it, unless there are drastic containment efforts.

    The person who is complaining about a cancelled Spring Break is the most entitled and selfish person I have encountered in a long freaking time. I’m all for treating employees and teachers fair. But this is a once-a-century disaster, billions of people are having their lives massively disrupted. And all you can think of is your precious trip to the beach. Guess what? All international flights are likely to go on strict lock-down very soon.

    Like

  21. D says:

    Not sure where you are located that you haven’t been affected by travel bans but let me tell you, writing from a country that has been deeply effected by the virus it is crazy.

    In Europe everyone has lost their vacation plans, and you know what, that’s fine. Things can go from “it’s only one or two cases” to “holy crap, we no longer have medical resources to treat people over 65, just send them, probably just gonna die anyway…” real fast. Sounds dark? Yeah, because it is. Can your country/city handle a mass out break at once. What if you or a colleague helped to bring it back? How would you feel if you aging parent ended up being one of the one sent home to die because the virus was brought to them with your new plane germs?

    So your spring vacation has been shifted. It’s probably for the best considering how badly things can escalate, it’s not like they’re taking it away. They’re just staying stay home where I’m assuming you guys are still pretty safe.

    Try to get some perspective, read some accounts of what it’s like in Italy right now. And for the love of god, wash your hands.

    Like

  22. Ana says:

    Our Director did not change the dates of our Easter Break, instead, she gathered us all together and let us know that traveling anywhere during holidays might result us losing employment visas since we have many staff members from the EU and the USA. Some of the staff also got messages and emails from their embassies telling the same. I do believe our Head of School informed us in a timely manner and she did her best to reassure us and feel as comfortable as possible to feel in such a situation. Sure, everyone had to cancel their travel arrangements since the country we are working in is on lockdown and we are not sure when we are going to re-open. Sorry to hear that you had such an unpleasant experience with a lack of communication and consideration towards you as teachers. I think it is all on your leadership to not be able to treat its employees in a respectful way.

    Like

  23. James P Rogers says:

    This pandemic falls under force majuere. The school can terminate contracts if they wish.

    Like

  24. JM says:

    This seems to be a big pile on against the OP, Sorry about this.
    I don’t think it is right for us to be branding the OP in such a way. While the majority of the posts are reasonable, we don’t need to be rude. Let’s be honest, we have all felt what the OP is feeling now.

    So a few days back HK has changed the rest of the world to red zone, which means mandatory quarantine when returning from anywhere.
    I was quite annoyed as I was going to lose a very expensive holiday etc etc. It is really frustrating, and the financial loss hurts.

    However, I guess my job is still secure and I’m being paid a nice salary. Which can’t be said for all teachers and indeed all members of society.

    So I guess the one thing you should negotiate is that if they has replaced holidays, are you still expected to prep e learning and alike? If that’s the case, this is something to perhaps broach with the employer.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Frank says:

    This has to be a joke. What an eejit!

    Like

  26. Keelah Rose Calloway says:

    I agree with the people who say you’re being silly and selfish. Traveling anywhere is a terrible idea right now. The situation changes so rapidly that anything could happen and if you’re not quarantined, you’ll risk coming back and spreading disease to your colleagues, students and neighbors. I’m sure there are some of you who’d like to visit aging parents but the fact that you said it means you haven’t been paying attention to who is most vulnerable in this crisis. Nobody should be visiting their parents after traveling and potentially being exposed to the virus. If you fly with even ONE infected person, you’re at risk. Here in Vietnam they are tracking people down based on specific flights they were on and forcing them to get tested and to stay in quarantine. Besides, most of you are probably not traveling to visit parents. You’re probably like so many people out there not taking this seriously and still going to public gatherings and parties. It sucks that you lost your break but you should contact the airline, not sue the school. Wake up. This is more serious than a vacation. It’s unprecedented, it’s global and it’s deadly.

    Like

    • ken says:

      The virus is overblown. Only a 4% death rate…..relax and just take common sense precautions. It should thin out the herd, at worst.

      Liked by 1 person

    • bill benson says:

      Are you gonna fly on a plane with a 4%, or even 0.04% chance of crashing? A huge portion of the planet will get it, unless there are drastic containment efforts.

      The person who is complaining about a cancelled Spring Break is the most entitled and selfish person I have encountered in a long freaking time. I’m all for treating employees and teachers fair. But this is a once-a-century disaster, billions of people are having their lives massively disrupted. And all you can think of is your precious trip to the beach. Guess what? All international flights are likely to go on strict lock-down very soon.

      Like

    • Jill says:

      I’m in Beijing. Our director changed the Spring break holiday also. I’m really not bothered as I don’t want to travel during the pandemic anyways. The other teachers and I never even had a moments whinge about it – we are much more bothered by the annoyance of online learning 😂

      Like

    • Will Riker says:

      4% of the world population would be 280 million dead! What kind of misanthropic person are you? That’s more dead from one event than all causalities of every war in the modern era combined! What a terrible thing to just brush off!!! Shame!

      Like

  27. Steve says:

    Wait until they take your summer holiday. I predict they will. Then we will see how the teachers on this thread change their stance. Changes to spring break happened to my school. I was pissed initially as i would lose money but the head of school called a meeting and explained everything. i couldn’t really be mad because its not her decision. Just deal with it and be thankful youre getting paid. Recoup as much money as possible and chuck it in the stock maeket for 20years.

    Like

    • Marian Catholic says:

      I agree. Keeping a job should be our main concern right now, as well as earning a salary for the remainder of the academic year. In some places around the world, schools have been closed for the rest of the semester. I have a friend in China who’s been asked to create an online platform for his students while his school is shut down, but he’s earning only a quarter of his monthly salary. I had to cancel my Spring break traveling, but I’m more worried about my school remaining closed for the rest of the semester and how this might affect my salary payments. There’s nothing in my contract that deals with this circumstance.

      Like

  28. BigDaddy says:

    So, let me see if I got this straight:

    1. There is a pandemic that is closing schools.
    2. Many countries have instituted travel restrictions and/or quarantines, probably including yours and the one(s) you wanted to visit.
    3. Your school has adjusted spring break in response to an emergency situation.
    4. You wanted to leave your country with no guarantee that you’d be able to avoid travel restrictions/quarantines in BOTH directions.
    5. You wanted (based on what you said) to visit an aging parent, who by virtue of being in an advanced age group is more at risk from COVID-19 anyway, and you don’t know that you’re not an asymptomatic carrier or that you could become one by traveling.
    6. You’re now pissed that you made travel arrangements that are screwed up by a pandemic, not by your school director.

    Does that about sum it up? Listen. where are you going anyway? Where is anyone going right now? And why on earth would you go anywhere and risk exposure to something that could make you a vector in your own school? That is incredibly irresponsible.

    Perhaps you don’t like the unilateral decision that was made. And perhaps the director could have taken a different approach by sharing the situation and the possible outcomes with teachers. I have my doubts that this decision was made solely by the director. If it’s a for-profit school, chances are there’s a business entity that is driving some of the decisions. If it’s a not-for-profit school, there’s almost certainly a board of directors or some equivalent that is driving some of the decisions.

    But if you knowingly go to a country where you may be quarantined or denied entry, and you return to your country knowing you may be quarantined or denied entry, you are doing so knowing that you are putting your ability to do your work in jeopardy. You are making a decision that could cause you to be unable to perform to your contract. I’d suggest reading the terms of your contract with respect to YOUR responsibilities too. There may be verbiage that describes what you must do regarding performance of duties. There may also be verbiage that describes emergency situations, acts of God, etc.

    Frankly, your self-righteousness, and that of several others supporting you, shows a wanton disregard for what is best for everyone right now. Under the circumstances, contact your airline and the accommodation you had booked and see if you can get a credit or just outright cancel without penalty. A lot of airlines are working with people to resolve these issues. Even a minor penalty would be a minor inconvenience right now compared to the significant inconvenience of being quarantined, or worse.

    But above all else, get over yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Janice says:

      As much as I usually side with the teachers and their overall well-being, I have to agree with this comment. We are facing unprecedented times, and we have to be flexible during this time. Many schools are for profit, and this obviously does factor into decision making. The health and wellbeing of students and staff at your school are important too and no doubt were part of the decision making.

      If you contact your airline and hotels, they will likely offer you refunds or credits. Such is the times right now, and many hotels and airlines are understanding and will accommodate.

      Wish everyone well.

      Like

    • Mikey says:

      Well said! Millions of people world-wide are losing their jobs and wonder how they will pay bills and eat and this self-entitled moron is whining about losing a holiday. Seriously!!

      Like

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is why we need ISR. Agreed most international teaching is a temporary job. Especially, in China where profit schools are popping up like dandelions will be doing. Suing in many countries will not work. Finish the year and leave.

    Like

  30. Anonymous says:

    Why would you go home to visit an ageing parent??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wayne says:

      Anonymous: are you really that unfeeling and stupid?

      Like

    • BigDaddy says:

      You’re aware, are you not, that COVID-19 has impacted the aging much more significantly than the young. It might be a better idea to video call the person instead of risking being the vector that infects the person. The previous poster may not have been insensitive to ask the question.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is that the airport and long-distance travel, in general, is “high risk”. If you travel then immediately see your parents rather than waiting 2 weeks (which isn’t possible in a 1-week holiday) then you could easily be the one that kills them.

      Some people see that as “unfeeling and stupid”.

      Like

  31. Teacher says:

    Report him to your local ministry office and provide them with his name and evidence of correspondence.

    Like

  32. Heywood says:

    Really? You’re worried about your silly holiday when thousands have suffered, thousands of people have been displaced or separated from families, millions are losing jobs and income! Your Head must be a pretty compassionate individual since he hasn’t fired you yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Paul Shearer says:

    You are a typical, self righteous teacher who thinks they know it all. The head teacher is just trying their best in this unprecedented time, the least you could do is support them. You shouldn’t be travelling anyway due to the seriousness of this virus. I hope you lose your case and are sacked immediately. What a joke of a teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. jon says:

    International teaching in so many schools now is a crap job. This virus should teach you that life is short and precious. So look after yourself and your loved one’s needs. Don’t buy the B.S. from school directors and owners that you are part of the school family. You are a commodity. Best thing I ever did was exit a lousy school. There are lots of jobs out there.

    Like

    • Daz says:

      Yup. We are all irreplaceable and quite easily. A lot of people are currently reassessing their values and lifestyle. Back home for me after this fiasco. Life is too short.

      Like

  35. Penny says:

    It’s also probably moot as the list of countries that won’t let you enter, or leave to other countries grows daily. And if you can get into another country there’s a very good chance you would be quarantined for fourteen days. Your school director could probably have handled the situation a whole lot better but it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Your airline will most likely give you a credit for future travel as so many airlines are not flying and really not expect People to fly. It’s a horrible situation all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Trav45 says:

    I’m with earlier posters–suck it up. You shouldn’t be traveling anyway. I’ve been hearing stories of other schools asking their staff not to leave, as returning is increasingly difficult. So it goes. It’s a global pandemic. My school actually moved our spring break forward a few weeks; we’d already been online for six weeks and everyone was exhausted. Of course, our staff is spread around the globe, as school was cancelled during Chinese New Year, and many were on holidays. They’ve been fantastic in dealing with this whole crisis and trying to meet the needs of everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Corona refugee says:

    We are finishing week six of online teaching. This hit while most of us were out of the country for Chinese New Years holiday. Many of us still are and now can’t get back because most countries have closed their borders. There is no end in sight.

    Your director is probably acting out of fear and, I would bet, a lack of information from the government who are going at this piecemeal rather than looking for best practices. Yes, he did this wrong by not presenting the information (or lack thereof) that he had and rallying everyone behind him.

    Be that as it may, this is way more serious than losing your vacation which, depending on where you were going, you probably wouldn’t have been able to get to anyway. Take a deep breath. Acknowledge to him his feelings of being out of control, his lack of information and direction from on high, give grace to those who have to make tough decisions. Ask what you can do to help and how you can support him. He may be facing this with little support and looking at his bottom line, how can he keep paying you if parents pull their support and students and tuition money?

    Don’t be surprised if the rest of the school year is canceled. This isn’t just a two week quarantine situation. It’s going to last a lot longer that anyone expected at first.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Anonymous says:

    I know this will be controversial but I am afraid I am on your school’s side – if only because the idea of you going on holiday at this time and potentially giving this to children who would pass it on to their families is irresponsible.

    We are not having the holiday cancelled, but travelling is a no. And that seems fair. This is unprecedented in my life time.

    I understand you may be upset with the way he handled it and his motives may not be the well-being of the community, but yours should be. You are a teacher. We are better than that. We put people first.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Imogen says:

    Your school shouldn’t have changed the dates. I’ve been there, and that sucks and it is bad leadership. However, honestly, I don’t think you should have been going on vacation at the moment either. Travelling puts everyone in your community in danger, and I do think your headteacher has the right to tell people not to travel if, by travelling, they know they will have to be quarantined for two weeks at the other side of the spring break. In my opinion, it’s just selfish to travel at the moment, unless you have some kind of emergency. I don’t think your headteacher is the only one in the wrong here.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. At my school we had daily meetings to discuss the way forward. I felt our voices were heard every step of the way. We were presented with a plan of action and then asked to comment because “there will be things we have not thought to consider”. I have never felt more respected or genuinely heard than I have in our meetings. Best case scenario for us now is we close once exams are done and leave early for the summer. He said, no online teaching after that – and no impact to pay or benefits – you will be exhausted and it’s only fair. With that attitude I think many of us felt willing to do things like give up Spring Break but we did not because the kids need this break. It has been hard but at least the feeling of community has eased some of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Okay here we need to look at both sides. Firstly the owner needs to look after his interest, that I understand. The teachers also need to look after their health and family, that I also understand.
    I dont think the teachers have a legal right concerning reimbursement but what they should insist their legal right to be protected.
    The owner needs to put measures in place to protect the staff. Measures like if a learner has symptoms even just a sneeze or slight cough they must stay at home. The school needs to sanitize everyday. Check each learner everyday.
    Schools need to follow WHO guidelines and if they dont then I think teachers will have a legal right to stop work and quarantine themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Anonymous says:

    This crisis is bigger than us and we all have to take a hit. Missing a holiday and losing some flight tickets/hotel costs will soon seem not very relevant in the grand scheme of things, as we watch one by one people lose their job, schools close, companies close, people die… Perhaps we need to all look at both sides – management needs to do all it can to ensure that schools stay functional, and that students get as good an education/social interaction via online as possible given the circumstances. This is tough for our students, facing months of isolation. Let’s focus on working together and getting through this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. jesiream says:

    No… It’s really not OK the way the school is responding. Here in Mef International School in Istanbul they are treating us with dignity and respect— The Turkish Way!

    Like

  44. Mohamed says:

    Since COVID-19 my principal is threatening to let me go. Reason teachers are teaching long distance ( e- learning) ). In addition she said I can get 3 new staff pay them nothing and still making money.

    Like

  45. omgarsenal says:

    Why are you surprised at your School Director’s duplicity, pecuniary priorities and absolute indifference to the suffering and financial losses he has imposed on his staff? I am sure, if you are owner-managed or Board managed, they support this cavalier display of cowardice and self-interest.

    Go for the jugular and don’t let up until you bring those monetary misfits to their knees. They can’t bring in replacement staff because of their fear of the virus, they can’t operate without their current staff and they are deathly afraid of what parents will do if things go south, so use that as leverage and do get the parents involved, if possible.

    Like

  46. Marian Catholic says:

    Well, in my international school, we still have our Spring break as scheduled. But because the country is in lockdown, all regular flights out of the country have been grounded. Some teachers had to cancel their tickets. Still, all schools have been ordered to shut down for three weeks until April 5. All staff, teachers, and students are to stay home. But only at my school, have the teachers and staff been ordered to come in for two weeks with the Spring break slotted in the middle. So, most of us are either lesson planning and sending worksheets to our pupils or just hanging around and toying with our cellphones.

    Like

  47. Anonymous says:

    If your contract has a clause (and if whomever made your contract didn’t insert such a clause, there will be problems) about “for the good of the school” or “as necessary” in relation to days worked, then the school is covered. Read your contract carefully!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got the T-Shirt says:

      I think Anonymous has a point. The contract probably has some clause in it like “for the good of the school” that will help the school’s lawyer find a way to wiggle the school out of any responsibility. Then again, your lawyer may be able to prove malice or negligence. The law is tricky. Good luck!

      Like

    • Marian Catholic says:

      I’m sure a lawyer will read it carefully before he decides to pursue a case.

      Like

    • Cash cow says:

      Exactly, most private international schools have clauses for emergencies. I doubt a lawsuit will be successful at this point.

      Like

    • Marian Catholic says:

      Contracts are composed with the aid of an attorney so that the employer is always protected. And they are designed for stretching interpretations in the employer’s interest.

      Like

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